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Punta del Este

Punta del Este
Type of Location
About Location

Punta del Este is a city and big tourist resort on the Atlantic Coast in the Maldonado Department of southeastern Uruguay.It is located on the intersection of Route 10 with Route 39, directly southeast of the department capital Maldonado and about 140 kilometres (87 mi) east of Montevideo.Although the city has a year-round population of about 7,300,the summer tourist boom often boosts the population by an extra 500,000.The first Europeans to set foot in what is now Punta del Este were the Spanish at the beginning of the 16th century. However, the colonization of the area actually began around Maldonado at the end of the 18th century due to Portuguese expansionism.Punta del Este and its surroundings (Maldonado and Punta Ballena for example) at the end of the 19th century were kilometers of sand and dunes, but in 1896 Antonio Lussich bought 4,447 acres (1800 hectares) of uninhabited land and there he started a botanic garden and planted trees and plants from all over the world.Later the trees started to spread on their own, and now the area is full mostly of Pines, Eucalyptus, Acacias and various species of bushes.Its status was elevated to "City" category 2 July 1957 by decree Ley No. 12.397.Punta del Este hosted an American Summit in 1967 attended by U.S. President Lyndon Johnson.In September 1986, Punta del Este played host to the start of the Uruguay Round of international trade negotiations.These negotiations ultimately led to the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1994.

In 2004, Punta del Este had a population of 7,298.During the 2004 census, there were 2,943 households in the department.The average household size was 2.4 persons.For every 100 females, there were 91.6 males.Punta del Este has scenic coasts and beaches.There are two types of coast: Brava and Mansa.This shows the end of the Río de la Plata (River of Silver) on one side and the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean, on the other side. Every beach of the peninsula has public access. There are quiet and calm water beaches while others have strong waves, white and fine sand or thick and golden ones.The split between wave types is around the Monumento al Ahogado, which the sculptor designed to warn swimmers that the rough waves could cause them to drown.La Barra is popular for nautical sports and fishing.Other areas include El Tesoro resort, Montoya beach, Bikini beach and Manantiales beach. Nowadays this area has become an important tourist centre.The city has much colonial architecture contrasting with more modern buildings.Nowadays it has a scenic shore, typical resort houses, modern buildings, a port with mooring capacity, department stores, restaurants, and pubs.There are several large houses, and gardens lined with plants.Gorlero Avenue, the main avenue of Punta del Este has commercial galleries, restaurants, cinemas, casinos, shops.Artigas square, over Gorlero Ave is the place where there is a popular handicraft market.


How to Reach

By Air

The city is served by Capitan de Corbeta Carlos A. Curbelo International Airport, being the second most important of Uruguay, located near Laguna del Sauce on the outskirts of the city.This modern airport opened in 1996.It offers domestic and international flights within the region.

By Ferry

Punta del Este can be reached from Buenos Aires by ferryboat to Montevideo (the capital city), 140 km from Punta del Este, and then by car or bus.

Key places to visit
Casa Pueblo, Gorriti Island, Punta del Este Lighthouse, Monumento al Ahogado


Places to Visit

Casa Pueblo

is a beautiful resort-museum near Punta del Este.It was created by Uruguayan artist Paez-Vilaro in a kind of mediterranean surrealistic architecture, making the whole place to look like a giant sculpture. He is the father of one of the survivors of the infamous plane crash on the Andes.Built around a tin box called La Pionera (The Pioneer), Paez Vilaro designed it with a style that can be equated to the Mediterranean coast houses from Santorini.

Gorriti Island

This island of 21 hectares of surface is daily visited to enjoy its two beaches: Garden Port and Honda beach.It consists of a natural port, with ships anchoring close to it, and it also became a popular area to practice water sports.

Punta del Este Lighthouse

The lighthouse is 45 metres tall, and the crystal panels which are part of its illumination system were brought from France.It works by electricity, with acetylene gas as emergency backup.It is possible to climb the 150 steps of its spiral staircase.

Monumento al Ahogado

is a sculpture of five fingers partially submerged in sand, located on Parada 1 at Brava Beach in Punta del Este, a popular resort town in Uruguay.It is colloquially referred to as either Monumento los Dedos (Monument of the Fingers) or La Mano (The Hand).In English, its popular name is The Hand.It is a famous sculpture that has become a symbol for Punta del Este since its completion in February 1982,and in turn has become one of Uruguay's most recognizable landmarks.

Right Time to Visit

March - July
September - December


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